Category Archives: Budget

Budgetary Realities at NASA Driving Difficult Choices

Plutonium-powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are the most practical way to power spacecraft that are going to explore the outer solar system. They’ve also proven to be useful on Mars, where the Curiosity rover uses the constant power and waste … Continue reading

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Should have Taken a Screen Grab!

NASA announced the completion of SLS‘s Preliminary Design Review, a mandatory step in any development where a lot of outside experts are brought in to review the work done so far. After that data review, there’s a series of presentations … Continue reading

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A (First?) Sane Fiscal Analysis of SLS

John Strickland takes a look.

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How to go to Mars in 2020?

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory released its planning document for the potential 2020 rover this week. It can be found here. It’s pretty hefty (154 pages plus appendices) and covers many available options in a cost-constrained environment. There’s a particular focus … Continue reading

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Asteroid Mission Swirl

Well, Congress has had an early say in the humans-to-captured-asteroid mission, and that say is “No.” It’s stuff like this that’s soured me on political activism. I understand it’s how things get done, but the constant energy required to counter … Continue reading

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Asteroid Mission Gaining Allies

The $100M seed money for the asteroid-gather-astronaut-visit mission got an endorsement from Senator Bill Nelson. In the remarks, he said that the astronauts would visit the captured asteroid in 2021, which would align with the first crewed mission of SLS. … Continue reading

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At First, I Thought “Wow, cool!”

…but then I thought “A bridge too far?” NASA’s 2014 budget request includes $100M in seed money to move a 7m diameter asteroid to Cislunar space for a later visit by a manned craft.

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Ah, the Sequester

Well, we’ve heard about the loss of college assistance for soldiers, and the cutting of support programs for families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan or Iraq. NASA is cutting travel pretty heavily, and has its eye on educational outreach … Continue reading

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Space Act? Excellent!

Last week’s announcement that NASA will continue to purchase commercial flight services through space act agreements instead of traditional contracting methods is great news.  It will allow much leaner procurement.  The question is, considering that it takes fewer NASA people … Continue reading

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End of Big-Ticket Items Taking all the air From the Room?

Jeff Foust reported on the draft Congressional Budget report released Wednesday which essentially cancelled the James Web Space Telescope.  The expected cast of characters comes out decrying the end of NASA science, and saying that too much money has been … Continue reading

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